Three potential options for a path ahead are bounded by these assumptions:
- Battlespace dominance includes the Information Domain.
- The Navy will deliver effects that may be kinetic (heat, blast, or fragmentation effects)
or non-kinetic (effects restricted to the Information Domain).
- "Information" both supports kinetic operations and delivers desired effects.
- Navy Information Capable Warriors are essential to all current and future operations.
Option 1: Establish a new URL community to develop fully qualified, future Information Domain leaders, some of whom may be designated as Maritime or Joint Information Warfare Component Commanders. This new community, drawn from officers serving in current URL and information-centric communities, must build competencies and broad experience in cyber, physical networks, and social networks domains, along with thorough knowledge of core enabling competencies (e.g., computer skills, information systems theory, language, signals intelligence (SIGINT), signals/radar fundamentals, communications systems, networking theory, space systems, shaping cognitive perceptions, etc.).
Option 2: Maintain current communities/designators and career paths, but establish a corps of Information Domain experts at the senior O-5 level and above. This Information Officer Corps could be competitively screened and selected from specific “feeder” communities/ cadres to create a pool of URL senior leaders with expertise in multiple information-specific domains (cyber, physical networks, and social networks) to develop the Information Domain leaders of the future, some of whom could be designated as Maritime or Joint Information Warfare Component Commanders.
Option 3: Maintain the status quo, but clarify the purpose of IP, IW, INTEL, PAO, FAO, Space Cadre, and EW communities/cadres. Additionally, require enhanced, collaborative resource management to address existing competency overlaps/deficiencies among these communities. This option does not address recognized performance gaps of existing career development processes, nor will it serve to develop the broad and deep Information Domain expertise that we will need in our Maritime or Joint Information Warfare Component Commanders of the future; but it may establish a clear rationalization for specific community membership and clarified swim lanes for individual missions, processes, and functions.